November is one of my favorite months. Fall has a depth and a darkness that even the Sun of Las Vegas can't touch. That doesn't mean it is a sad month. In fact, it is a month for digging deep and unearthing the shining gems hidden beneath the topsoil. There are no Jewish holidays in November (Cheshvan), but there are secular holidays, and these are meaningful. Election Day, Veterans Day, and of course Thanksgiving.
I was getting ready for Shabbat and I thought of Yedid Nefesh, the beautiful piyyut to begin Kabbalat Shabbat. I was unhappy with the melodies I know for it - something was lacking: they are often slow, peaceful, and frankly boring. And they don't represent the words:
Beloved of the soul, merciful Father, draw your servant to your will. Then your servant will run like a deer; he will bow before your splendor. To him, your affections will be sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb and all other pleasant tastes. ..Reveal yourself, please, and spread over me, my Beloved, the shelter of your peace. Let the earth be illuminated from your glory, we will exult and rejoice in you. Hasten, show us your love, for the time has come, and be gracious unto us as in days of old.
There is yearning, there is movement, there is urgency. It is not the lazy afternoon reclining of the seudat shlishi. No - it must have tension and action. So here is my Yedid Nefesh: